"I was wondering if you could help me with some party ideas. We are having our children's birthday party on the 29th after the date the my son is due (the 26th of the month). My one daughter is turning 3 and the other is turning 5. And if all these variables weren't difficult enough, we have just moved to the area and the kids to be invited range greatly in age (anywhere from 3 to 10 years of age). My husband works for the local fire department and we, at this point, are booking the party to be held there. Other than that I have no ideas. If you could help I'd be very grateful."
The Party Expert answers:
How much fun it will be for your children to have their very own fire house party! Keeping in mind the ages, and your very precarious situation, I've kept the preparations and ideas simple.
Since you're partying in a firehouse, what would be better to include than a Dalmatian! If your children do not own a Dalmatian stuffed animal, see if someone you know does. If you know someone with a real one, ask if the pup can visit for a photo opportunity. Snap pictures of the partygoers sitting in the fire truck (or standing beside it if being in it is prohibited). Be sure to plop a fire hat (purchase inexpensive ones at the dollar store) on each child before snapping the picture.
Boot Toss Game
Toss small beanbags or hackey sack balls (ones that don't bounce away) into the firefighter's boots. Allow each guest to toss the ball at least three times. Make sure you divide the kids into two or three groups, such as 3-5, 6-7 and 8-10 or under six and over six. The guest or team that tosses the most balls into the boot wins. Have one winner from each age group or have one team win. To keep kids from getting restless, make two lines to play the game.
Dog Biscuit Toss
Again, make two lines and have the kids toss biscuits into a dog dish. Follow the same rules as the Boot Toss Game.
Dalmatian Go Home
Make a game board by drawing six lines (lengthwise) on a poster board to make lanes. Number the lanes one through six. And mark six lines across the width to make blocks. Make six small Dalmatian drawings (or download a graphic from the Internet) and one firehouse. The goal is to get the pups home. Place one pup inside each lane. Roll one die. If number two comes up, the second Dalmatian moves one block. Continue rolling the die until one of the pups reaches the firehouse to win. Depending upon how many guests you're having, you might need two or three of these boards. A small stuffed Dalmatian would be the perfect prize.
A firehouse and truck tour would thrill everyone in your age group, if allowed. Take candid shots with an instant camera for guests to take home. A chance to try on the boots or jacket would be great.
If possible, find a bone-shaped cookie cutter to make cut-out cookies to give as a take-home treat. (You should be able to find one at a candy and cake supply store.) Small fire trucks, such as the Match Box size, would be just right as a giveaway.
Keep your party timeline to two hours. It will be enough time for the photo session, two games, cake, presents and a short tour.
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